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Shopping at the Drugstore Saved My Life!

True story: 11 years ago, when I was a young beauty assistant at a big-time magazine, I woke up with painful, crusty blisters all over my face. I called my glamorous boss and explained that because I now looked like The Kracken, I could not come to work.

Convinced I had the flesh-eating virus, she immediately made me an appointment with a fancy dermatologist who not only cured my skin in 36 hours, but also diagnosed me with scarlet fever. (Turns out I had a severe case of impetigo that, yes, can cause scarlet fever. Go figure.) After prescribing an antibiotic to shut down the blisterpalooza on my face, this very swanky, very exclusive dermatologist also gave me a quick lesson in what to use on my skin to help it heal and keep it healthy in the days ahead. The kicker? All of these things were at the drugstore. I swear, I thought this was all part of a fever dream. Not so. He told me which ingredients to look for to treat my painfully dry patches of skin (ceramides!); to fight off bacteria (salicylic acid!); and to protect my skin from further damage (SPF 30!). In this video, I'm cracking the code of drugstore skincare for you, just as it was done for me. But, you know, in a less dramatic fashion.

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